A Missed Call

A stomach sleeper. That’s me. That’s also problematic when you’re pregnant. Not because it’s dangerous, but because it’s impossible.

Have you ever tried to sleep under a basketball?

When I was little I found comfort in the same form of rest, until the pings of the knife left me in the fetal position. The smell of day old lavender on my pillowcase, the dampness of the drool spot I repeatedly moistened, the way my mother tucked the sheets in so tight that kicking a leg out was more of a struggle than staying in. Military Style, she called it. Except my brother and I were not cadets, we were more like heirs to an undesired throne.

It started with my belly button. Pressure in the hole. A piercing sensation. Was I laying on metal? I imagined one of those plastic knives, the ones with the blades that pressed-in upon contact. I’d place my palm under my skin to create distance between the mattress and the undercarriage of my ribs, but it never helped. I could feel the pulsing of my heart escaping into my hand and the worry of the twisting forced me onto my back – a position that would never find me rest.

That’s what it felt like when it hit me. This baby was stabbing me in the gut and soon would leave. It was 2pm on a Tuesday. He was in meetings and I had just arrived home. It started with my belly button. Pressure in the hole. A piercing sensation.

I sat down. I spread out my legs. I wiggled my feet.

This can’t be happening.

Nothing’s happening. I told myself it was fine. Pain was normal. Surely it was normal.

Frequent urination, a good sign. An expected reaction. Except the toilet paper streaked red.

This can’t be happening.

I sat back down. I spread out my legs. I rubbed my belly. I asked her not to leave.

I prayed for a miracle.

No one answered.

work in progress  


You Left Me

I want the sidewalk to crumble at my feet.

I want to disappear into the pavement.

I want to be someone else.

Anyone else.

I want it to be yesterday when I was still pregnant. When I cared about what my body consumed. When reading the packaging labels at Trader Joe’s was the main priority of the day.

Chia seeds are good for you.
Organic fruits and veggies are best.
Stay away from shellfish.
Put that sushi down, girl.

I want to walk slow as I balance the brown paper bags in my hands, stopping at every third corner to give myself and baby a rest. I want to put flaxseeds in my smoothie as a healthy alternative to DHA supplements. Omega-3 is essential to healthy brain growth. I want to pee the minute I walk inside the door and right before I leave the house.

I want to rub my belly, the one that doesn’t quite exist. I want to whisper to it, tell him how much I love what’s so newly inside, what’s growing every day and will someday soon be mine. I want to order decaf and ask the barista which cheeses aren’t pasteurized. I want the bartender to notice that I’m drinking sparkling water and ask me how far along I am. Five weeks, I’ll say and blush. It’s all so new!

I want to complain about missing red wine. I want to feel tired, even if it’s all in my head. I want to nap because I should, because it’s good for me, not because it’s a sign of pending depression or some other lurking darkness inching inside.

Sadness is why I nap now. Why I can’t get out of bed until the morning news is over, until after Hoda and Kathie Lee are tipsy and the women of The View are fired up in vain.

Hopelessness is why I cry. It’s where I am when I’m not saying a word, it’s when my mind is viewing the ultrasound screen showing nothing but the emptiness of where a sack once lay.

Fear is why I’m angry. Why I want to glare at the belly coming towards me, why I want to scream at a stroller passing by. Because what if we will never feel a kick or sleep awkwardly in our queen-sized bed when my body takes up more than my half?

What if this happens again? What if our parts don’t connect in a way that’s favorable for reproduction. What if we aren’t enough? What if we will never be enough?

Never. Be. Enough.

Every time I use the restroom, I will worry. I will cringe at the sight of color on a tissue. I will forever be changed.

He will too, and it’s all my fault.

I assured him it’d be okay. That we should get excited. That worrying is a waste of energy. That we should enjoy this time, even early on.

That we were meant to be parents!

What a bold faced lie I told.


work in progress



These are the moments I understand the most. Lying in bed, looking at the light come in from the window, reflecting off the mirror of the devil’s head. Before thinking is required and sleep is still present. Before my feet have to touch the ground and life expects me to play along.

I don’t want to play along anymore.

I don’t belong here. The men in ball caps with their babies draped across their chests belong. The children belong, scooting along the Brooklyn sidewalks, tiny helmets and glowing shoes. The women holding hands belong; a peaceful solitude long overdue. The hipsters belong, with their Harry Potter lenses and vintage stocking caps – despite the days warmth. The young mothers, the old, the new and the experienced, they all belong.

But who was I?

A corn-bred implant from lands of flat fields. Guns in our houses and a distance in the backyard that couldn’t be articulated here. Woods are all I saw as the Missouri sunsets lay orange across our backs. Nature can be a dangerous place for the mind. Too much space can cause wandering when one should not wander.

work in progress 


At the corner of every block, the puddles are growing to ankle-height depths. The once white snow is now an aged grey, dirtied by tracks and yellowed with urine. Kids are smiling, parents are masking their faces with scarves and high necks. The grumble between neighbors has come to an impaired level as a rush to the door has taken over the need to be cordial.

New York somehow shines, even when the most arctic of skins refuses to leave the house. With fogged storefront windows and snow lined doorways, the feelings of a story waiting to be told give the streets a magic that only a city like this one can communicate. 

In the Midwest, the winters are dominant with ice despite the wishes for snow. A clear trap on black pavement, causing fear for those on the roads. A warm day followed by freezing temps were to be expected. The weather nearly as manic as the people enduring it.

But here, there is a sense of tranquility when the city goes white and the streets are blanketed. The anticipation is half of the fun and the reporter’s portrayal of the inches ahead leave hopeful residents dizzy with excitement, waiting for the first flake to fall.

work in progress 

Meet Evalyn

I am dead inside. Not in the way of a cry-on-the-street, my-life-isn’t-worth-living kind, but in a more literal form. It’s not that I don’t want to feel the reaction of a friendly smile or the internal heat from a loved ones embrace. It’s that I can’t feel those things. Maybe I never could, but it’s more apparent now than ever, in this rotten hole I’m living in where nothing and no one can pull me out.

The worst part about mental demise? Physical perseverance.

work in progress